Biker killed in Howard Frankland crash may have suffered medical issue

10:20 PM, Mar 31, 2013   |    comments
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PINELLAS PARK, Florida -- If Justin Mullins was surrounded by motorcycles like his Pinellas Park home was on Sunday, the 26-year-old's family says he'd be admiring the bikes and talking about how to repair each one of them.

Instead, each of those motorcycles represented a fellow rider mourning his death. His wife, Jessica, says he was a passionate biker who always looked out for his family and friends.

"He was strong, very strong," Jessica says. "It didn't matter what happened. He was going to get back on that bike."

He was on that bike Sunday, with Jessica as his passenger. They were headed home from a meeting with a friend about starting a motorcycle repair business.

"Yesterday, he was so excited about getting in this business and our future," says Jessica.

But while on the Howard Frankland Bridge, Jessica says Justin suddenly slowed down and pulled over on the right shoulder. He suffered from migraines and stomach problems in the past, and she knew something was wrong.

"He just started going off to the left and I tapped him because I saw cars coming. I was tapping him on the side and he just wasn't coming to," she recalls. "He was unresponsive even before impact."

A chain-reaction crash involving three other vehicles happened next, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. A FHP media release says the motorcycle "abruptly made a lane change" and hit a car, sending Justin and Jessica flying off the motorcycle. They were both wearing helmets. As the motorcycle hit a second car, Jessica landed in the shoulder of the road, suffering minor injuries. Justin landed in one of the center lanes, according to the FHP release, and was hit by a car.

"If anything happened to him, he'd want to be on his bike," Jessica says. "And he was on his bike, and he was with me."

That's because family and motorcycles were the loves of his life. He'd call his dad at night, filled with questions about bikes.

"I looked forward to them," Justin's father, Jack, says. "And I'm going to miss those calls."

But Jack never wants to miss the chance to pass Justin's legacy on to his 4-year-old son, Aeiden.

"He's as excited about motorcycles as Justin," Jack says. "We'd be in my truck. He'd see a motorcycle, and Justin and I would be talking, and he'd yell, 'Vroom, vroom!' That's what he called them. He could find one in a parking lot with 100 cars."

Jessica says she may never ride again, but she hopes her husband will for eternity.

"Ride in peace," she says.

Justin's family plans to hold a memorial for Justin on Monday. They're also awaiting the results of an autopsy which, they say, will provide some closure.

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